Collaboration > Competition

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March 13, 2015

Duluth MN Wedding Photographer

They say it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. Seriously, try it! (I know you’re totally pulling a frowny-smiley face as you read this…)

Let’s face it, negative energy is a heckuva lot more work.

A few days ago, I returned from Photo Field Trip, a gathering of photographers & creative gurus in a lush oceanside canyon. Imagine summer camp, but for grown-ups. We made friendship bracelets, roasted s’mores, listened to inspiring teachers, and pushed our own envelopes. It was a perfect blend of education, vacation, and collaboration.

Duluth MN Wedding Photographer

I see a trend happening. It’s anti-competition, pro-collaboration. It’s about lifting others, and thereby lifting the whole industry up. It’s hopeful, inspiring & challenging. It asks us to give selflessly and ask for nothing in return. It’s a little bit of karma and a whole lot of love. It’s the way business should be done. I’m seeing this movement spread through the wedding industry, and I want it to catch fire.

We have our own good vibes here in Duluth, one of the very reasons I adore doing business here.

The truth? People look at me funny when I tell them I’m friends with photographers in my area. It’s not weird; it’s awesome. We build each other up, laugh together, create together, and share referrals. You read that right: We share business with one another. Because guess what? Work is bountiful, and we each bring something different to the table. By staying true to ourselves & owning our brands, we each attract a different type of client. And that’s the beauty: it opens doors for anyone to write their own job description and flourish in this industry.

As a wedding photographer, my calendar fills quickly, and I receive a steady stream of inquiries that I’m already booked for. Our tight-knit group allows me to gather names of those who are available. I can truly serve that client, even if I’m already booked. That’s good juju right there.

Duluth MN Wedding Photographer

To those of you taking those first baby steps into business, remember: Be true. Do work that fires you up, and just be a good person. This may sound like first-day-of-kindergarten Golden Ruley stuff, but it’s the stuff that matters. You will meet the same people on the way up as you will on the way down, so be kind to everyone you meet.

As creatives, we are constantly reaching for the next milestone. I’ll be real with you: You are climbing a mountain with no summit. Even those who have “made it” in our eyes are still climbing the mountain, often unsatisfied & restless with their achievements. “Onto the next!” they say.

Life is too short to forget about contentment. So next time you find yourself comparing or bitter, remember why you’re doing the dang thing. Something tells me it has nothing to do with climbing someone else’s mountain.

Cheers to my homegirl Amanda Cane of JaneCane Photography for the top black & white image!

1 Comment
  1. Kate Minor March 13, 2015, 9:15

    Cheers to this, lady! I am totally with you! And wow, it looks like this field trip was incredible. I may have to look into it for the future. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, as always!